Drawing On Location 1

Liverpool Street Drawing
One of the first drawings in my new 'MA' sketchbook
One of the first drawings in my new ‘MA’ sketchbook

So the first project of my MA is to explore and discover our personal visual language by ‘observation and experiment’.

The observation has to include the moving human figure in natural, everyday environments. That’s not how they choose to frame it, but that is more or less what it boils down to. I think this is going to be a bit of a doddle because it is what I have been doing for a while now. Except I discover it is not.

I have been making little focused-in studies. These are good, no one is disputing this, but it’s the larger context of the world of these figures inhabit that I realise is largely missing from my recent studies. This might be true of my life to a greater extent – motherhood and child-rearing has a way of focusing your life down to the domestic. Nothing wrong with that, but the fact remains that a ‘sense of place’ is largely absent from my recent work. A little torch has been shone on my artistic world.

So that’s a large part of the challenge I am facing in this project. To think more about ‘framing’ the picture, formally choosing the composition, and to include a sense of the space that the figures inhabit.

I tell you what, it has already made me realise how much my Fine Art degree lacked formal ‘teaching’. I’m not the only MA student to say this. And we’ve only attended twice!

Today I went out and managed just one sustained drawing in Liverpool street station – I wanted to draw above the main concourse. I hated the drawing at the time – the materials didn’t work together as planned because I think I bought the wrong kind of white paint-pen. However, I did manage to grapple with ‘framing’ the drawing, planning it’s composition and giving consideration to what I wanted to get on the page. I haven’t done this in a long, long time (maybe ever?). I even did some measuring, grappled with perspective (I say ‘grappled’ deliberately).

And even in my smaller drawings/studies made on the train, you can see I have started thinking about composition and the wider context of the figures. So even if I still haven’t produced a drawing that I am over the moon with, I am making progress. And I shouldn’t be doing beautiful drawings just yet – not if I am extending out of my comfort zone.

So better get on with showing you the drawings…

Oh. the theme, loosely, is ‘waiting’:

Beginning to put in some ‘context’
Old Man in Dentist
Very quick study, in dentist. Look no ‘context’ – nothing to say, visually, that he’s in a dentist.
Staying still – tonal study in pencil. I like it, but no ‘context’.


Glamour Granny
Not a great drawing (done with a fountain pen), but she was well worth drawing – fish nets and heels, picking up her grandson or daughter…
Legs and Coffee on Platform
Clearly considering composition here…
Big Belly Bloke on Train
Meat-hook hands and medicine-ball belly… had to be drawn. (And I put him on a train seat – context!).
Liverpool Street Drawing
Today’s drawing – influenced by illustrator Hannah Webb… but not as good as hers!

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